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House DFL announces $100 million public safety plan

More than $80 million from the plan would go towards grants for local policing, criminal investigations and community nonprofits.

ST PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota House DFL unveiled a sweeping public safety plan on Monday that representatives say will address Minnesotans' concerns on rising crime.

According to lawmakers, the $100 million safety plan will provide permanent investments into local policing and "tools to strengthen crime investigations."

The 2022 legislative session is set to begin on Jan. 31 and the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Committee will hold public hearings on the proposal during that first week.

“House DFLers are delivering a comprehensive package with necessary funding, innovative tools, and thoughtful collaboration with local mayors, police chiefs, and prosecutors to help enhance safety in communities across the state,” Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL – Saint Paul) said in the announcement. Mariani is the chair of the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Committee.

The public safety plan includes $40 million for Innovation in Community Safety Grants, $22 million for Local Community Policing Grants, $22 million for Crime Investigation Grants, $10 million towards abuse and addiction prevention for opiates and $2.5 million to help local police buy body cameras, according to the DFL's announcement.

An additional $500,000 in funding would go towards the POST Board to hire more investigators and create a new task force meant to increase recruitment and diversity in police forces.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said in the announcement that DFL lawmakers are actively working with police, prosecutors, mayors and city councils while they "introduce proven policies that attack the root of the problem."

“We have work to do to build a public safety system that protects everyone, and part of that important work is addressing racial disparities in our criminal justice system," Winkler said in a statement.

The fact sheet for the DFL's proposal can be found online here.

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